The Heiva i Tahiti in a few words
The Heiva i Tahiti, established in 1881, is one of the oldest festivals in the Pacific and even in the world. Today, Polynesians from all the archipelagos eagerly expect this cultural each year. A lively show, mixing language, music, ‘ori tahiti and hīmene, inviting us to tell our traditions and legends.
As is customary, a rāhiri will open this festival. A moment of exchange that allows the group leaders and jury members to commit to mutual respect. This takes the form of each representative laying a banana plant leaf before the jury.
Below is a short text that summarizes this rite that has been adapted for the Heiva i Tahiti:
Te rāhiri i te heiva
Tū mai nei tatou i To’atā Here we all are in To’atā
‘Ei ti’a nō terā pupu hīmene Each member representing a song group
Nō terā pupu ‘ori A dance group
‘Ei tōmite hi’opo’a One member of the jury
Hafa’i mai te rau mei’a Holding a banana plant leaf
‘Ei rāhiri i teie heiva to sign their participation in this Heiva
‘Ei pū nō te ha’amata The conch sounds the beginning
‘Ei pahu nō te fa’a’ara’ara The pahu accompanies the process
‘Ia oti e tu’u i te rau mei’a Afterwards, everyone puts their own leaf
I ni’a i te peruvai o To’atā Down on the To’atā stage
‘Ei pū nō te fa’aoti ! The conch sounds the end!
‘Ei hei nō te tura The crown marks the honour
‘Ei vā nō te vāeatua The competition is dedicated to the gods
‘Ia heiva te heiva ! Let the Heiva be open
‘Ia hura te hura ! Let dance become dance!